Our latest press releases on important news and events relating to immigration detention in the United States

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Community Organizations Free Hundreds of Immigrants from ICE Detention

October 21, 2020

Beginning Wednesday, October 21st, in an action dubbed “Fall Freedom Day,” immigrant rights organizations in coordination with the National Bail Fund Network and Detention Watch Network, will begin the process of posting $3 million in immigration bonds to free hundreds of individuals held in immigration detention across the country.  The collective action builds off of years of organizing by groups across the country and a similar action in 2019 that freed over 200 people.

ICE Ends Fiscal Year 2020 with its Highest Death Toll in 15 Years

September 30, 2020

Washington, DC — On the last day of Fiscal Year 2020, Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network, issued the following statement in response to the 21 deaths that have occured in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody throughout the year:

“The tragic death toll for FY 2020 is the highest since FY 2005. People are losing their loved ones to an immigration detention system that simply does not need to exist.  

Reported death in detention this week, whistleblower revelations last week — No one is safe in ICE custody

September 21, 2020

Lumpkin, Georgia — Today the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the death of Cipriano Chavez-Alvarez, 61, who died from COVID-19 early Monday morning after being detained at the Stewart Detention Center (Stewart) in Georgia. Chavez-Alvarez is the third person to die from COVID-19 this year at the facility where there have been over 330 total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Death Toll in ICE Custody Climbs to 17 with 2 deaths reported this week as COVID-19 Ravages Detention Centers Nationwide

August 7, 2020

Washington, DC — This week two deaths were reported in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) custody, Kuan Hui Lee, a 51-year-old man who died after being detained at the Krome Detention Center in Miami, and a unidentified 72-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 while detained at the Immigration Centers of America (ICA)-operated Farmville Detention Center in Virginia.

Two deaths in ICE detention in four days — ICE is an integral part of the deadly police infrastructure

July 16, 2020

Washington, DC — This week Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported two deaths of people in its custody, Onoval Pérez-Montufa, 51, who died Sunday after contracting the coronavirus and Luis Sánchez-Pérez, 46, who died yesterday on July 15. 

Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network offered the following statement in response:

ICE is Recruiting a ‘Citizen’ Army to Fuel Its Propaganda Machine

July 9, 2020

Washington, DC — On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it is recruiting for the inaugural class of a new Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy (ECA). This will build upon similar programs that exist within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  In response to this news, Detention Watch Network and the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America offered the following statements:

Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network, said:

House Homeland Security Spending Proposal Shows Congress is Beginning to Recognize it Must #DefundHate in the U.S. Immigration System

July 6, 2020

Washington, DC — The House Appropriations Committee this week proposed a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill for fiscal year 2021 that begins the long overdue process of defunding our nation’s deadly immigration detention system. This bill takes steps to hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) accountable for their wasteful spending, which has torn apart thousands of families and cost more than 55 lives in custody since 2017.